10 killed, many injured in Kogi, as police said normalcy has been restored  





There was a renewed hostility  on Wednesday between Ebirra and Bassa-Komu ethnic tribes in Bassa Local government areas of kogi state.


At the last count, over ten people were said to have lost their lives, with many receiving injuries, following the return of the Ebirra people who were displaced from their various communities due to the crisis which started last year April.


The kogi state police command  Public Relation Officer (PPRO), William Aya confirmed the ugly development on Thursday in Lokoja , saying that “the situation is under control, no cause for alarm” .


He said two people lost their lives in the  renewed fighting between the two warring ethnic tribes who have been at dagger drawn in the east part of the state for months.


Aya however added the state police command has drafted a team of Mobile Policemen,  conventional Police and Army, Assistant commissioner of police incharge of Operation,  including Police Area commanders to the affected areas to restore normalcy as quickly as possible.

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“Two people were killed. One was killed yesterday, and the second,  today. Calm has returned in the affected areas. The CP in charge of operation, mobile police,  conventional police,  Area commanders and Army are already there to restore law and order as soon as possible”,  he said


It was gathered that following the intervention of elders from the area, the Ebirra speaking people who left their homes in many communities as a result of the crisis were asked to go back home by the state government in order to  pave way for a lasting peace among the two ethnic groups.


In the  spirit of reconciliation, the Ebira refugees/displaced  who were accompanied by the security operatives and political appointees, including the Bassa local government administrator, Sam Alumka and others returned to Oguma, the headquarters of Bassa local government on Wednesday, from where they were expected go to their various villages and communities.

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It was alleged that an uncomplimenty remarks from the paramount ruler of Bassa-Komu ethnic group,  the Aguma of Bassa, William Keke sparked up the latest crisis, for saying that the returning Ebirra people should go back to Lokoja or where they have been staying all this while.


A source also posited that the Ohiogba of Mozum, Alhaji Halidu Bukar Ali and other Ebira leaders who were at Aguma of Bassa’s palace to receive  their people back home were nearly ambushed by hooligans/militia of a warring group, if not the intervention of the security operatives that brought the situation under control.


It was learnt, the escape from an ambush by the Ohiogba of Mozum and the Ebira leaders from Aguma palace and the said “unguarded statement” from the Royal father spread out quickly to various communities of the council,  leaving trail of anger and violence.

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In the process,  over ten people were said to have lost their lives in some of the affected communities in the areas, due to the ensued crisis.


It was reported that two residents of Mozum,  kagiwa Hussain and Aminu Usman who were returning from Oguma to Mozum were killed by hooligans in millitary uniform believed to be sponsored by one of the warring factions.


As at the time of this report,  hostility is said to have relapsed in Ibiroko, Oguma, Sheria, Auta and Ojugbe  towns that was deserted for months, (but ignited yesterday as the displaced are returning home) while that at Ikede is said to be ranging on with heavy casualty at both sides.

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